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Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
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Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Stories from the Anthropocene

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. This timely anthology calls on twenty eminent humanists and scientists to revitalize curiosity, observation, and transdisciplinary conversation about life on earth.

As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies livability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entan
Paperback, 316 pages
Published August 25th 2016 by Island Press
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Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every essay in here is worth a read, but this is from the especially brillaint “Shimmer: When All You Love is Being Trashed” by Deborah Bird Rose:

“To act as if the world beyond humans is composed of ‘things’ for human use is a catastrophic assault on the diversity, complexity, abundance, and beauty of life” (G55)

“The legacies of Western mechanism have manifested through repeated assertions of human exceptionalism—that man is the only animal to make tools; that man is the only animal with languag
Imogen B
brother this is very well written + is blowing my mind but u can't critique colonialism and then describe a white academic as a "pioneer" in their field (especially when their "field" is really just putting Indigenous knowledge in academia????????) ...more
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating collection, some bits were a little dense for me, but i had a really good time slowly making my way through all of these essays from different people all about their highly specialized areas of knowledge and study. fantastic final chapter in the Monsters section that really put a bow on it.
Rogier Boers
I am enthousiastically reading a wonderful book called Art of Living on a Damaged Planet (Anna Tsing and others, 2017). It is an interesting collection of scientific, philosophical, as well as artistic, anecdotal and feminist essays on the impact of homo sapiens on life on earth, of which -of course- we are part.

I am happy with the book, but I do think the goal the book sets itself (by telling 'entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions' creating arts of living and eventual
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting collection of multidisciplinary, experimental essays about living in the late stages of earth as we know it. This is a beautiful book containing two volumes and full of illustrations and pictures. "Monsters" is about symbiosis, the microbiome, and parasites; "Ghosts" is more overtly concerned with destruction of the earth and it's systems. ...more
This was a fascinating book. I really enjoyed it even though it was quite academically written and some of it probably went over my head. Fascinating topics and essays.
Bonnye Reed
I received a free electronic copy of this interesting collections of essays from Netgalley, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, and University of Minnesota Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work with me.

PUb date May 30, 2017
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really fucking sweet and is a must-read for anyone looking to grapple what caring about the environment can or should look like in the Anthropocene. It'll make you reimagine what's possible, and what could possibly be cooler? ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, even eclectic, group of essays that somehow suggest that not all ladders lead to humans.
Jacob Wren
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three passages from Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet:


In a 1963 Warner Brothers cartoon featuring Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog – originally created by Chuck Jones (in 1953) then remade by ex-Jones animators Phil Monroe and Richard Thompson – a wolf and a sheepdog share a companionable dailiness and friendship involving coffee together in the morning and a return home arm in arm at the end of the day. In between, of course, they assume their roles as enemies: the sheepdog guards the flock, wh
Easton Smith
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that I read anything more academic than the news these days, but I'm glad I did dive into this book of monsters and ghosts. So many of the central ideas of these essays--that there is no individual per se, that the 'human' and 'natural' worlds are becoming indistinguishable, that we are all going to hell in this handbasket together and that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful--resonate with me deeply, while also providing glimpses of specificity. I loved the work exploring Chernobyl, the d ...more
Eye-opening and important. I think I will use this book for my master thesis.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although i read It almost by accident, this was a fascinating book. First, I devoured the excellently written double introductions (ghosts + monsters), as well as the wonderful double Codas. Then I surprisingly found myself reading most of the articles. I say surprisingly, because I am an architect, interested in the narrative reading of science proposed in this book, but theoretically not that passionate about lichens life-span, geology of mud volcanoes, or bacterial cosmologies in the human bo ...more
Daniel Casey
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
an exceptional anthology that moves in unexpected directions that are quite satisfying
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
An absolutely fantastic collection of interdisciplinary writings which work to problematize concepts of individuality and linear "progress"—read both teleologically and purely temporally—through an engagement with novel theories in ecology, developmental/evolutionary biology, anthropology, etc.

Divided into two sections, the first deals with "ghosts"—essentially undertaking a hauntology of contemporary ecological landscapes, in an attempt to articulate the deep entanglements which produced them,
Jul 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that everyone needs to read. It is almost a companion book to Donna J. Haraway's Staying with the Trouble. Haraway provides the theoretical depth while this book provides concrete case study samples of what a humanities-social sciences-natural sciences collaboration/conversation looks like. The inter-disciplinary integration of this Aarhus University school of thought provides ways to change the way we think about larger concepts i.e. individualism as a unit to entanglement as a u ...more
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Collection of cross-disciplinary essays exploring the ‘monsters’ and ‘ghosts’ that have resulted from human impact in the environment. Style and topics cover a broad range but all essays are relatively quick Pulled a few quotes that stood out to me and that I think summarize these perspectives in the anthropocene well.

‘A world increasingly shaped by human activity but also increasingly outside of human control’ G171

‘Writers look for ways of reading landscape not as detached from humans but as d
Benjamin Felser
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, scary, informative and mindset-altering assemblage of essays, stories and art-pieces from thinkers and activists across fields of the humanities (or posthumanities) and sciences. Beautiful thinking on where the heck to go from here. The main thing that's lacking is instruction beyond this mindset, which could be summarized as working towards multikinded (as opposed to multispecies) connection and unity. What does this look like in our lives? How can we create community with these co ...more
Palo Hux
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating collection of essays that refuse easy categorization: from biology, to chemistry, physics, cultural and literary studies, "Arts of Living..." offers intrincate and intimate conversations with all non-human and human beings, dead or alive.
The "Ghosts" and "Monsters" sections often overlap, thus proving the overall thesis statement of the book: that easy splitting between categories/genres in an eerie, monstruous age of climate collapse and human-made catastrophes on a global scale
Kate Savage
Mar 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book dropped me down into the deep space, the heart space, the realm of the tender, grieving, joyful.

It did this by telling me about ants, lichen, flying foxes, and other kin. The authors included in this book pay close attention to others. They learn from others, but don't force any of them into a trite 'object lesson.' It hurt to read this book. But it was that kind of pain I also feel when there is just too much beauty.

One essay ("No Small Matter" by Karen Barad) felt too thick with high
Lucas Miller
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this, even if I didn't really grasp every essay. Some of the entries were just beyond my background knowledge, but for the most part the authors in this collection go to great lengths to make specialized knowledge universally applicable.

This book assuages a lot of climate doom with curiosity and calls to action. It was fascinated and will leave me thinking about it for a long time to come.
Bridget Pitt
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant and thought provoking read on the condition of our planet, and ourselves within it. One to savour, and to read again and again. One of those books when you want to read every second sentence aloud to your best friends because it just so aptly captures the complexity of our world.
Jul 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-reads
Everything about this is brilliant. Stories, musings, and research beautifully and accessibly written by amazing scientists and anthropologists. Insightful, artistic, brilliant. Can't praise it enough. I hope more than anything another volume is published...this is an important exploration of theory, environmental science, politics, and human impact. ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible (and honestly often mind-blowing) collection of multi-disciplinary essays on living fruitfully in our time, on a damaged planet. Poses questions worth puzzling over for some time to come.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of academic writing. And this book is an anthology of mostly academic work. However, I think the subject matter is compelling and a few of the essays stand out as powerful pieces. I hope a similar book comes a long that's more accessible for a wider audience. ...more
A weird and excellent book I bought on a whim. Very interesting design--it's double sided! Reading this felt like exploring new territory in landscape studies and ecology. Came at just the right time too, definitely informing my participation in my biogeography course this semester. ...more
Genevieve Lambert
This book is confirming!

Life is changing. Reading others' "noticing" is inspiring. We are not autonomous. In how many ways we are not autonomous, is why I will refer back to this book.
Robin  Small
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book bridges the gap between science and fiction in new ways, so that both shed light on the other, and deepen our understanding of reality.
You have to read it.
Lynette Dooley
I loved the chapter on collective behavior of ants and our ghosts of Chernobyl
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Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way Place and coeditor of Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture.

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